Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

March 26, 2008 10:28 ET

Government of Canada Announces Funding for Youth Initiatives and Settlement Services in Schools and Libraries in Toronto

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 26, 2008) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced funding for 19 organizations to deliver settlement services for youth in schools, libraries and community centres across Toronto.

The funding, of more than $36 million, will help newcomer youths and their families access settlement services throughout the city and in high needs neighbourhoods. These services include innovative programs such as mentorships and peer engagement through sports and the arts. This is the first year that settlement funding has been specifically targeted to help newcomer youth, including youth at risk.

"The Government of Canada is committed to helping newcomers succeed," said Minister Finley. "Young people who are new to this country face their own unique challenges. With this funding, newcomers in Toronto will have access to improved services in their schools, libraries and community centres. These services will ease their transition to life in Canada and strengthen Toronto and the community as a whole."

The settlement services are being delivered in partnership with immigrant serving organizations, Toronto school boards and the Toronto Public Library. The libraries partnership, launched as a pilot in 2006, is being expanded with this funding since many newcomers go to libraries to access computers and the Internet to search for training programs and job opportunities. With this funding, 75 settlement workers will be placed in libraries and 148 settlement workers will be placed in schools.

"The new funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada will allow us to provide quality settlement services for newcomer youth and their families," said Jehad Aliweiwi, Executive Director of Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office in Toronto. "The funding, provided under the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement, signals the commitment of the Government of Canada to help immigrants successfully integrate into Canadian society."

Settlement services are an essential part of the federal government's immigration program. Through the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement (COIA), the Government of Canada has increased settlement funding for Ontario by a total of $920 million over five years. Under COIA, Citizenship and Immigration Canada works with the province and immigrant-serving agencies to make a real difference in the lives of immigrants. In total, since 2006, the Government of Canada has begun investing an additional $1.4 billion over five years in settlement funding across the country.

Newcomers to Canada can also look to the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO), which helps internationally trained individuals find the information they need to get their credentials assessed and recognized more quickly. The FCRO was established in 2007 to provide information, path-finding and referral services to help internationally trained individuals use their skills in Canada. There are now 320 Service Canada Centres across Canada offering in-person services to newcomers.

CIC funds a number of programs that help newcomers settle, adapt, and integrate into Canadian society. These programs are delivered in partnership with provinces, territories and service-providing organizations and include the Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program, which provides orientation, referral and counseling services; Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada, which provides basic language training for adults; and the Host Program, which helps newcomers connect with volunteers who help them access services, establish contacts in their field of work and participate in the community.

For more information on CIC's programs, consult our Web site at: www.cic.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Minister's Office
    Tim Vail
    Press Secretary
    613-954-1064
    or
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Communications Branch, Ontario Region
    Madona Mokbel
    416-954-7868